Google Dominates Again as World’s Top Media Owner

We rely on the Internet for a lot of things, and a recent report highlighted this dependence on web search by ranking the world’s top 30 media businesses—with Google claiming the top spot yet again.

Winning the Ad Market

Google increased its dominance in global advertising revenues, way ahead of its nearest competitor, Disney. The search giant reported media profits of $50.6 billion in 2013-14, according to ZenithOptimedia’s Top Thirty Global Media Owners 2015 report.

The Silicon Valley company’s revenues increased to 136%, up from 115% a year earlier. This dwarfs the next largest player, Walt Disney Company, which has a reported income of $20.3bn for the same period. Google is also bigger than the second-largest (Disney) and third-largest (Comcast) combined.

The yearly round-up ranks companies based on media revenues, which it defines as “all revenue deriving from businesses that support advertising”—including television broadcasting, newspaper, web searches, and social media. The list determines which companies are most important for the marketing industry.

The Shift Towards Mobile Friendliness

Top-ranked Google has benefited from the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, making Google Search available to consumers on the go—a strategy that has proven particularly useful for mobile consumers. The company has put a premium on mobile, as evidenced by its recent mobile-friendly algorithm update. Convenience for mobile users is becoming a top priority, not only for the search company, but marketers and businesses as well.

In turn, this priority for mobile user convenience has created new opportunities to target consumers with display ads, another important part of Google’s business.

Not to be outdone, however, Facebook is catching up in terms of revenue and reach. The social network’s media revenues increased 63% to $7bn, climbing to the 10th spot, moving up 14 places. This also made the Mark Zuckerberg-led company the fastest-growing of the 30 businesses ranked.

In terms of mobile, Facebook looks to be the big winner. “It has actively embraced mobile technology in order to encourage its users to visit it regularly and frequently throughout the day, while designing its ads to blend seamlessly into the content feed,” the report said.

The second-fastest growing company on the list is Baidu (China’s version of Google). It grew 43% over the year and is now the 14th largest media owner, ahead of Yahoo! (18th) and Microsoft (21st).

Digital Media and Ads

The full list:

Rank Media owner Rank Media owner
1 Google 16 Asahi Shimbun Company
2 Walt Disney Company 17 Grupo Globo
3 Comcast 18 Yahoo!
4 21st Century Fox 19 Fuji Media Holdings
5 CBS Corporation 20 CCTV
6 Bertelsmann 21 Microsoft
7 Viacom 22 Hearst Corporation
8 Time Warner 23 JC Decaux
9 News Corp 24 Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings
10 Facebook 25 Mediaset
11 Advance Publications 26 Axel Springer
12 iHeartMedia 27 ITV plc
13 Discovery 28 ProSiebenSat.1
14 Baidu 29 NTV
15 Gannett 30 Sanoma

“The rapid growth of digital media and emerging ad markets has strengthened the position of media owners such as Google, Facebook, Baidu and Globo, at the expense of traditional media owners in developed markets. The top digital media owners currently maintain a strong grip on the digital ad market, but they face the constant threat of displacement by disruptive innovators,” said ZenithOptimedia Head of Forecasting Jonathan Barnard.

This just highlights the need to have a well-planned PPC management strategy. This includes knowing where your target consumers are and tailoring your ads to suit the audience and the medium. In this case, knowing the right company to work with for your ads can boost your chances of increasing ROI.

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